Amon-Ra St. Brown had a big finish to his rookie season, and one analyst thinks a nice encore is in store for 2022.
Over the final six games of his rookie season, Amon-Ra St. Brown was one of the most productive wide receivers in the NFL. Fantasy managers who picked him up at any point in that stretch were happy they did.
It’s clear St. Brown’s target share over that final stretch of last season is not sustainable. Tight end T.J. Hockenson and running back D’Andre Swift will be back healthy next season, and the addition of free agent wide receiver DJ Chark will further disperse the targets from Jared Goff.
It’s worth noting that Tim Boyle started two games (Week 16 and Week 17) in place of Goff over the final six weeks, and St. Brown did not miss a beat. He totaled 17 catches for 202 yards on 22 targets in those games, with a receiving touchdown in both. He also had a rushing touchdown in Week 17 against Seattle.
Can Amon-Ra St. Brown have a big full season in 2022?
Projection without full context is risky business, but please indulge me for a second. Based on his six-game pace from Week 13-18 last year, St. Brown would have had 144 catches for 1,587 yards and 14 touchdowns over 17 games.
The concerns for St. Brown to have a serious drop in production next season are well-founded, in a broad sense. But as noted by Ian Hartitz of Pro Football Focus, receivers who produce like St. Brown did as a rookie don’t just fall off the map. And in a recent post highlighting players whose fantasy stock is rising based on free agency, Hartitz highlighted a fit with Goff’s profile as a quarterback.
His conservative style is perfect for enabling a high-volume slot maven like St. Brown. Overall, Goff’s average target depth of 6.8 yards was the league’s third-lowest mark among 44 qualified quarterbacks last season. Nobody had a lower percentage of their passes thrown short of the first down sticks (34.2%).
St. Brown is a highly dependable target with after-the-catch ability. He’s also got a chip on his shoulder, motivated by keeping tabs on the 16 wide receivers who were drafted before him. Even though he won’t lap his teammates for target share the way he did to close his rookie season, that’s a formula that says he won’t have a serious second year drop-off.